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Punishment Park (1971)

"Punishment Park" is a pseudo-documentary purporting to be a film crews's news coverage of the team of soldiers escorting a group of hippies, draft dodgers, and anti-establishment types ... See full summary »




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Cast overview, first billed only:
Patrick Boland ...
First Tribunal Defendant
Kent Foreman ...
Defendant in the tribunal
Jay Kaufman, Tribunal Defendant
Luke Johnson ...
Defendant in the tribunal
Katherine Quittner ...
Nancy Smith
James Arthur Kohler, Tribunal Defendant
Stan Armsted ...
Charles Robbins
Mary Ellen Kleinhall ...
Allison Mitchner
Mark Keats ...
William C. Hoeger, Tribunal Chairman
Gladys Golden ...
Mary Jurgens, Tribunal Member
Sanford Golden ...
Sen. Harris
George Gregory ...
Mr. Keagan
Norman Sinclair ...
Alfred J. Sully - Tribunal Member
Sigmund Rich ...
Prof. Hazlett
Paul Rosenstein ...
Paul Reynolds - Tribunal Member


"Punishment Park" is a pseudo-documentary purporting to be a film crews's news coverage of the team of soldiers escorting a group of hippies, draft dodgers, and anti-establishment types across the desert in a type of capture the flag game. The soldiers vow not to interfere with the rebels' progress and merely shepherd them along to their destination. At that point, having obtained their goal, they will be released. The film crew's coverage is meant to insure that the military's intentions are honorable. As the representatives of the 60's counter-culture get nearer to passing this arbitrary test, the soldiers become increasingly hostile, attempting to force the hippies out of their pacifist behavior. A lot of this film appears improvised and in several scenes real tempers seem to flare as some of the "acting" got overaggressive. This is a interesting exercise in situational ethics. The cinéma vérité style, hand-held camera, and ambiguous demands of the director - would the actors be ... Written by Dick Rockwell <dr1orok@atlas.moa.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

1980 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Büntető park  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Whole movie was filmed using Eclair 16 mm camera. Theather cut and the version for released DVD is been blown up to 35 mm film. See more »


In her tribunal closing statement, Alison Mitchner makes reference to the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States, and uses the phrase "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness". This phrase is in the second sentence of the Declaration of Independence, not the Constitution. See more »


James Arthur Kohler, Tribunal Defendant: My responsibilities as a citizen in this country do not include killing for it.
See more »

Crazy Credits

There are no opening credits at all. The title doesn't appear until halfway through the closing credits. See more »

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User Reviews

Peter Watkins' Masterpiece.
14 October 2003 | by (Sacramento, CA) – See all my reviews

Punishment Park is a brilliant piece of cinema. Shot in the Southern

California desert using his patent faux documentary style, Watkins

creates a film like no other. He follows two groups of prisoners (one

pre-sentenced the other post-sentenced) throughout the picture. After

they're tried by a military tribunal, they have the choice of either

serving out a prison sentence or they can participate in Punishment

Park (a grueling three day hike through the desert with nothing but the

clothes on their backs) whilst being hunted down by local law

enforcement officers who use the park as a live action training

ground). I can't say enough about this movie. Sometimes it feels as if

you're watching a real documentary. This is one of Peter Watkins most

accessible films. I advise you to look out for it. You wont regret it!

Highly recommended


19 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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